ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (10): 1808-1817.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01808

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From Self to Social Cognition: The Default Mode Network and Mirror-Neuron System

WU Jinfeng; WANG Yu; CHEN Hong; HUANG Junfeng   

  1. (Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University; Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Chongqing, 400715, China)
  • Received:2014-10-27 Online:2015-10-15 Published:2015-10-15
  • Contact: CHEN Hong, E-mail:


Self-perception and social cognition are foundations of human life. The concept of self includes physical and psychological aspects. Social cognition is broadly defined as a suite of social representation, social interaction and social understanding. The default mode network (DMN) mainly represents psychological features of the self and other people as well as the social-cognitive processing. Conversely, the mirror-neuron system (MNS) provides the link between physical representations of the self and physical representations of others. The DMN comprises three subsystems: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) which has a key role in social cognition, and two other subsystems that also have significance for social understanding. The DMN and MNS are functionally connected and dynamically support representations of the self, others and social interactions. Elucidating functional connectivity within and outside the DMN and MNS are critical issues for future research.

Key words: self, social cognition, default mode network, mirror-neuron system